With the support of Bobby Colomby, I was signed by Bob James to Columbia Records in 1977. It was a tremendous thrill to be on the same label with some of the greatest jazz and jazz-fusion artists, one only has to begin with the name, Miles Davis. At the time, I suppose I felt it was my 'mission' to somehow maintain the original sound and line-up of the Brecker Bros. Band, only featuring my guitar a little more. Of the great jazz-fusion groups from the early '70s (Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Return to Forever), the Brecker Bros. Band was the only group to feature a 'mini' horn section, and what a horn section it was: Randy Brecker(Trumpet); Michael Brecker(Tenor Sax); and David Sanborn(Alto Sax). Along with Randy's brilliant, unique and underappreciated compositions, this horn trio created a style, sound, and approach to phrasing which has influenced all genres of music and players and arrangers from all over the world. When Dave left the band to pursue his solo career, Michael and Randy decided to continue without a third horn. On "TIGHTROPE," the horn section is featured on the title track as well as the Randy Brecker original, "The Big Ones," and their playing together remains a highlight for me. During these years(through '79), I was still playing my beefed-up, customized Fender Telecaster and probably only using a Fender Super Reverb. Other highlights for me include: the drumming of Steve Gadd(especially on "Tightrope"); Michael Brecker's harmonizer-colored solo(his idea and his setting) on "Some Punk Funk"; Dave Sanborn's solos on "The Big Ones" & "Darlin' Darlin' Baby"; and the support of Don Grolnick, Bob James, and Will Lee throughout. On each of the three Columbia recordings, I featured one acoustic steel-string solo amidst an electric texture, the first of these features was on the tune, "Star Chamber." "TIGHTROPE" is the best selling recording I've ever made, and is probably directly attributable to the inclusion of the Gamble & Huff aforementioned tune, "Darlin' Darlin' Baby," originally recorded by the O'Jays. Bob James wrote the gorgeous arrangement the morning of the session. This recording also marked the beginning of my friendship and link via album cover artwork to Jean-Michel Folon, all thanks to Paula Scher.
Photo: David Sanborn, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker and Steve at the Village Gate(July '75) by Erika Price